Wife refuses to testify in student murder trial

Lee-Anne Butler

THE wife of a Pretoria teacher accused of murdering his 19-year-old mistress refused to testify on behalf of the state on Friday.

According to the Criminal Procedure Act, Emily Muvhango cannot be compelled to testify against her husband.

Mutshutshu Milton Muvhango, 31, is accused of murdering Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University student Tshepiso Sithole in June 2011.

The state alleged that the two were involved in a romantic relationship at the time of Sithole’s death, and that Muvhango was visiting Sithole at her Summerstrand student residence when he accused her of seeing another man before strangling her in a jealous rage.

He also allegedly stole her cellphone.

Muvhango was also Sithole’s former high school class teacher.

On Friday, defence Advocate Mzwamadoda Mnyani said the state had to accept that Muvhango’s wife, Emily, had declined to testify.

The Port Elizabeth High Court heard that she had been in consultation with the Legal Aid Board.

Serusha Ince, a supervisor from Vodacom’s law enforcement support unit, testified that a cellphone belonging to Muvhango had been detected at Johannesburg Park bus station on June 16 2011 and then in Port Elizabeth between June 17 and June 24 that year. By June 25 the cellphone belonging to Muvhango was back in Gauteng.

Sithole, a first-year civil engineering student, was found dead in her room on June 26 2011, nearly a week after she was last seen alive. A computer cable was tied around her neck and her body was already in a state of decomposition.

Sithole’s family members last week testified to having no knowledge about the alleged affair.

The trial continues today.

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